Our SXSW Contest Winners Leezia and Samar will be joining Steve Case onstage!Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Today, I'm excited to announce the winners of our Built By Immigrants contest: Leezia Dhalla and Samar Birwadker. Leezia and Samar will join Steve Case and me on the main stage at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas later this afternoon.
Leezia Dhalla is an Executive Communications Specialist at Rackspace and currently lives in Illinois. Leezia came to the United States from Canada when she was 6 years old, and learned of her undocumented status on her 21st birthday. Says Leezia: "…I am American in every way except by virtue of birth."
Samar Birwadker is the co-founder and CEO of Good.Co. and currently lives in San Francisco. After working 3 jobs while attending school full-time, he eventually attained his MBA on a nearly full scholarship. As Samar puts it, "immigrants are truly driven by an entrepreneurial spirit - they’re willing to put everything on the line in order to build a better life for themselves and their family." We couldn't agree more.
The goal of Built By Immigrants is to empower immigrant entrepreneurs to tell their stories and encourage their friends and colleagues to share these stories with their members of Congress, turning storytelling into advocacy that is personal and powerful.
Thousands of people have taken action on Built By Immigrants over the last week, racking up over 20,000 advocacy points by sharing immigration stories with their members of Congress.
Although our SXSW contest is now closed, we hope you will still submit and share your immigration story on Built By Immigrants - and encourage your friends and colleagues to do the same. Sharing these stories is a powerful way to demonstrate the need for immigration reform that works for the American economy and American families, and to highlight the countless ways in which immigrants are already contributing to our communities every day.